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A Baby (Future) Hero.

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A Baby (Future) Hero.






It was still very dark when the woman on the bed woke up, blinking at her ceiling for a moment before looking around to figure out what had woken her. It hadn't been a nightmare. It hadn't been someone breaking into her suite since she couldn't hear anyone, and she would have heard them tripping the traps she had up because they'd be screaming as they died. She looked at the higher resting spots. No Barton. So what had woken her? She sat up and felt the cooler air outside her bedding hit a wet spot she shouldn't have on her side.

She looked at the long t-shirt she was wearing, finding it wasn't blood. She frowned at the ceiling. No leak. She uncovered the bed to find out what had spilled and found something that cooed at her. "What are you?" she asked it. It squealed and waved a hand with a happy grin. She shifted to her knees to stare at the infant; the drooling, peeing little happy being that she had never seen before. "Where did you come from?" It fussed a bit. "Let's get you cleaned up so I can change the sheets, before I have to buy a new mattress. JARVIS, can you please ask Barton to come down here?"

"I can," the AI in the Avengers tower said. "Would you also like Dr. Banner, Agent Romanoff?"

"If he's awake. If not, he can see him in the morning. I'm sure the others are going to be less than amused. How did he get in here?" The security camera was linked into her tv in there. She watched as an assassin she had thought was long dead snuck in and placed the cooing bundle on the bed where she had flipped over and taken the blankets with her. Then she snuck back out. "Was I perhaps sedated?"

"I have aired out the apartment. There was a slight ventilation alarm thanks to some light sleeping gas, usually called laughing gas," the AI said. "I've made a note for Mr. Stark in the morning."

"Save that footage down for me please." She took the baby into the bathroom to look at him in the brighter lights. He was pouting so she stripped the all-in-one outfit off him, looking at the diaper. "I have no idea what I'll replace that with," she admitted.

"There are emergency supplies and there's a bag of various sized diapers in it," the AI offered. "I can have it brought up."

"Please. I have no idea how to do this."

"That's fine, Agent Romanoff." He pulled up a virtual screen and a youtube video on how to change a diaper for her to watch while he got the diapers sent up.

Someone knocked and walked into the bedroom. "Nat, JARVIS said you needed me. What's wrong?" He paused, staring at the thing she held up. "Wow." He took him to hold. "Where did you come from?"

"Bianca left him," she said. She took the bag of diapers from the robot, letting it go back to the lab. She took the baby back. "Let's clean you up. Change the sheets for me please?"

"Yup, I can do that." He stripped the bed, wiping off the protective cover over the mattress . Then he found her spare sheets and put them on. The old ones got put into the basket with the blankets. He found new ones and put them onto the bed as she came out from changing the baby. "Go okay?" he joked with a grin, taking the baby to hold. "Hey, little one."

"He's a boy," she said.

"Wow, a little guy for mommy to charm." She glared at him. "Why else would she leave you a baby?"

"Maybe because I thought I had killed her," she said dryly.

"Good point. That's one hell of a 'here, you bitch' present though." He shrugged. "We should take him to the infirmary to make sure he's healthy and not covered in something like a biological sample."

"That's baby powder. It went everywhere when I opened it," she complained.

"Sure, I've done that."

She gave him an odd look. "Where did you see children?"

"Circus, Nat. There were a few families in it." He grinned. "I had some babysitting time of the older kids." He walked the baby off. "C'mon, the infirmary's a good idea anyway."

"Fine." She checked her bed then followed him. She had no idea what to do with a child. She wasn't maternal. She had no wish to give up her position on the team to learn to be maternal. Her only wish right now was that this was all a very bad prank being played on her by that supposedly dead assassin.

Clint walked into the infirmary, grinning at the baby. "Hey, Doc, you up?"

"I am, unfortunately," Dr. Banner said, turning around on his stool. "What's that?" he asked calmly.

"I woke up with him peeing on my bed beside me," Natasha said as she came in. "The security footage showed an assassin I used to know, and I thought I had killed, placing him on the bed."

Bruce looked at her, then just nodded. "Go get some tea or coffee, Natasha. It's going to take a few hours to make sure he's healthy and whose baby he is." She nodded, walking off to do that. He looked at Clint, who shrugged. The AI put the footage up for them to see. "Okay then," Bruce said, taking the baby to examine. "He did pee?"

"He peed tons, Doc. The sheet had a huge spot of pee on it nearly as big as him."

"So I don't need to worry about his kidneys working," Bruce quipped. He pulled over machines to look at the baby, plus his mundane things like his stethoscope. When Natasha came back with cups of coffee for all of them, he smiled. "I've got his DNA running. It'll take about three more hours." She grimaced but nodded. "Why don't you two go back to bed and I'll amuse him until it's done."

"I could like that," she said. "I have no idea what to do if he is mine." Bruce patted her on the arm. She walked off contemplating that nasty idea.

Clint shrugged, taking his coffee back to his suite to relax until the shouting started in the morning. It'd probably start about an hour after Tony got up, depending on how strong the coffee was.

***

Bruce Banner walked into the kitchen once the AI had said everyone was there, letting Clint take the baby. Best to get the bachelor standard reactions to babies out of the way before they figured things out together.

Stark stared at the baby, sipping from his third cup of coffee. "Did we build a baby prototype so someone can practice?" The baby grumbled at him and cuddled Clint's shoulder and neck.

"Not with how much he pees," Bruce joked. "He'll never had kidney problems." Clint smiled some.

Natasha looked at him. "Are the tests conclusive?"

"Yes and no. Part of it is linked to a file that's locked off." He popped some bread into the toaster and turned to look at her. "The other part is why he was left on your bed." She grimaced slightly. "But, it's only a ninety percent match, Natasha. Do you have any living siblings?"

"No."

"Anything that would've changed your DNA since that very old intake file it accessed?"

She considered it then nodded. "That would depend on when the reference sample was taken."

"Late eighties."

She nodded. "Yes, there were a few things that may have changed it slightly; things I was exposed to." She stared at the baby Clint was holding. "I have no idea what to do with this knowledge."

Tony shrugged. "I don't care if you raise him here," he said.

She stared at him. "I can't raise him very well while I'm on missions or we're in the middle of a battle."

"Point," Stark said. "We can look at a super strong nanny to help you." She grimaced but nodded she might think about that. "And, you know we might babysit now and then. Maybe. As long as I don't have to change him." He finished that cup of coffee and got up to get more while Bruce fixed his toast properly. He turned to look at her. "How did he get here?"

"An assassin left him," Clint said.

"They gave him a very light sedative he's mostly slept off," Bruce added.

"Are they still here?" Stark asked. "That way I know whether or not to avoid more ninja secret agents?" He sipped his new coffee. Bruce made more for himself since Tony had nearly drained the pot.

"No, and I have no idea how they were here since I'm certain she was dead," Natasha said.

"I did the check, she was," Clint agreed. He looked at the baby. "Are you old enough to need more than formula, little guy?" The baby snored at him. "Bruce?"

"No, not quite yet." He looked over. "We can pick up that and more diapers after breakfast." He sat down with his coffee and toast, digging in. "We'll need to pick up a few essentials, like a crib, too." He ate a bite of toast.

Natasha looked at the baby then at him. "Is that wise with the way we can be attacked?"

"Yes," Steve said, carefully taking the baby to hold. The boy smiled and peed some more in his sleep. "Wow, you've got great kidneys, little guy," he said with a grin.

"The last diaper's in the lab," Bruce said. Before Steve could get up, a robot brought the plastic bag up for him. "Thank you." He handed them over.

"I'm not afraid of diapers. A few kids at the orphanage needed some," Steve said, taking him to change. JARVIS showed him the nice video since he was staring at the lack of pins. "That works. Thanks, JARVIS." He changed him and carried him back. The baby had woken up and was sucking on his thumb. "He seems very happy and quiet." He sat down again, noticing his coffee had been relocated to Tony's cup and he was on his tablet. "What are you doing?"

"Ordering diapers so we don't have to brave somewhere like a super store. Plus a few outfits, some formula, some bottles, and a case of baby wipes."

"I have some of those in my room," Clint said. Tony gave him an odd look for a second then went back to his ordering. "I use them to clean around injuries after getting stitches."

"That does work well," Natasha agreed. "I'm out though." She stared at the baby. "Where are we going to stash him?"

"There's a room between yours and Clint's," Steve suggested. "It's tiny but he won't mind."

"That could work," Stark said. He looked at nursery options then grimaced. "Pepper would kill me if I don't let her help pick out things. She nearly did about the living room furniture," he muttered as he called her. "Pepper, me. I knew you knew that, Pepper. We had a baby dropped on us by a mythical assassin." He pulled the phone away from his ear. "Hey!" he complained. "Not mine!" He hung up. "She'll be here soon." Within nanoseconds, Pepper was coming off the elevator. "Not. Mine," he said before she could open her mouth to scream at him again. He pointed at Natasha as he finished his cup of coffee, getting up to get more and get Steve more since he had stolen his.

Pepper stared at the baby Steve had. "You're adorable. How did you come into being?"

"We have no idea," Natasha admitted. "He's mine however."

Pepper patted her on the shoulder. "We can work on things and find you a great nanny to take care of him, Natasha." She took the baby to hold carefully. "Hi, little guy. I'm Pepper." The baby sucked his thumb, staring at her. "You're very quiet."

"So far all we know for sure is that he's Natasha's and that he pees a lot," Clint quipped with a grin for her. She let him take the baby back. "C'mon, little guy. Stark, should we go pick up the stuff you ordered?"

"An hour," he said after looking at his tablet.

"He's been peeing every forty minutes so far," Bruce said dryly.

"He could probably use a bath," Pepper said, sitting down to stare at him. "Do we know his name or anything?"

Natasha shook her head. "Nothing appeared with him. They put him on my bed and he woke me up by peeing through his diaper. That reminds me, I should wash them soon before they stain." She got up to start that load of wash then came back. The baby was cooing at Pepper and Bruce like he was happy.

The same assassin showed up with a shadowy form, leaving him there. He faded into a young man. "Sorry, gotta do it this way." He looked at Natasha. "Hi, Mom." He grinned. She stared at him. "Don't worry. I'm giving you an out, slightly. If you don't watch me," he said with a point at the baby. "The daddy's handlers will show up to claim me. You'd know them very well. They trained you." Her eyes narrowed.

"And that means *he's* the daddy, yeah. By the way, you can save him. With the way they're fractured, he's loose and a loose end." He grinned. "No one expects you to be the hands-on mom. Really. I was really happy that you and Uncle Clint were like Uncles that taught me stuff. Dad too once you got him fixed."

He stared at her. "You can handle being an aunt. You have a lot you can teach me before I get sent out to handle something because I'm a dumbass. A dumbass with ideas," he admitted with a grin for her. "But a dumbass. You were right about that when you screamed at me for *weeks* about handling a bad thing by myself because you weren't there and I'm ...well, I'm me so therefore I should be able to handle such things.

"Oh, fair warning. Every single bad girl ever created thinks I'm cute and a good toy. It'll drive you nuts when I'm about...eight. Because the girl up the road...she's a future serial killer I think." He shifted and shrugged at the others. "I'm presently out of my body to do this because I'm still a dumbass who does things like handling huge bad guys on my own. When the Easter Island head was floating up Broadway and you guys were missing.... let's just say that I'm kinda glad I'm out of my body because Dad was the first one to show up and even Uncle Clint can't make him quit screaming at me in Russian. Or in any of the other languages he knows.

"I probably should've learned but, well, I got talked into it. 'Of course you can handle it, Alex. You've been trained to handle that stuff. You'll do your parents and godfather proud. Uncle Phil will *adore* being your handler on this mission, even though he's got broken ribs and he's in the infirmary next to you. No, the surgery to remove your appendix won't matter. They don't tend to hit you there'," he said, staring at his mom.

"Fury," she sneered.

"Yup." He grinned. "Uncle Nick thinks I'm going to be Dad's prototype for his group. I told him if he didn't hand me easy chicks for winning this one I was going to bomb the heli carrier on him and then go to the assassin bars I keep finding *somehow* to make them all my love slaves. Thankfully I fell into a slight coma right after that, while you guys are still missing in space and Dad's coming back from Bolivia or something." He put his hands into his pockets, grinning some. Steve sat up straighter, staring at him. "Dad talks about you a lot. Especially after you got magically revived." He looked at her again.

"We don't expect you to be SuperMom. Or SuperDad depending on your mood of the day," he said dryly with a slight smirk. "Even Dad said you were mean to me a few times, Mom." He blew a kiss and looked up. "Time's up. Dad's having them give me shit to wake me up so he can scream and yell. I should go hide with my last girlfriend but I think she's off killing all the presidents at a G-20 meeting this week." They could faintly hear a yell in a male voice. "Yup, that's Dad." He sighed. "I liked the nanny. She's a good one. I don't remember the first one too much but the other's nice. She did Mom things like bake cookies." He grinned. "We could always use more cookies." He waved and disappeared.

Natasha quietly wiped her mouth then stood up and walked off. She had to vent a tiny bit in the gym. Clint followed. She stared at him once she was in the elevator and he was waiting to get on. "You will not be helping because I am going to destroy things."

"Okay, I can go help with the baby." He went back to the table. "We're going to need to rebuild the gym, Stark."

"I would've done that before this," Stark said, looking at the baby. "Well, we know his name. Though, that Uncle Phil being his godfather was a bit suspicious." They all looked at him. "How many handlers are there named Phil?" he asked Clint.

"Four. Two are team handlers, Coulson, and Mertrich, who is just starting and he's an asshole who tries to hit on his agents." He leaned his elbows on the table, staring at the happy baby. Then at Stark. "We can find out."

"So can I." He smirked a tiny bit. "All right. Today, we finish whatever Bruce wants to do with health checks, we arrange a nanny, the nursery, get him all sorts of cute stuff like normal parents so the nanny can dress him in it, then we'll figure out how to change things so my almost-nephew there doesn't attract assassins." He finished his coffee.

"I need to look a file up," Steve said quietly.

"If she's not doing it, I'll help you do that," Stark agreed. "Not like I won't be in their files all day anyway." He looked at Pepper. "Find the nanny?"

"While I'm shopping for the nursery," she promised with a smile.

He blew a kiss as he stood up. "I figured you'd want to since you hated how I decorated the living room until you changed it on me." He left her to it.

Bruce took the baby back. "Let's start that bath, Alex. Then we'll figure stuff out once the diapers get here." The baby squealed and cooed at him, flinging his arms around. Bruce laughed. "It's great that you're happy. It'll be a nice foil to all the sarcasm around here." He got up, Clint following to help him give the baby a bath. He gave Clint a strange look.

"I did some babysitting back in the circus."

"That's handy. I've only dealt with some sick ones."

Pepper was already doing a search on Tony's tablet. Security minded nanny agencies weren't that hard to find but the baby would need special precautions. Before Tony taught him to build his own suit and use it to fight bad guys. They could probably side-swipe that destiny before the baby turned into that guy that got screamed at for doing heroic things.

***

By that night, the baby had cute clothes, he had plenty of diapers because the fountain of pee had slowed but not stopped, and Pepper had done a nice job getting the nursery together with non-cutesy things but sturdy and they'd last for a while in case anyone else had a baby suddenly show up. Pepper smiled at the baby. "Now all we have to do is file a birth certificate for you, little guy."

"If we do, Fury will know," Steve said.

"If we don't, you can't put him on your health insurance, register him for school, or do anything else legally." Pepper looked at him. "Gotta happen. Doesn't have to happen *here*, but it has to be filed somewhere."

"I've been looking overseas based on what Bruce said about how old he is, there's three possibles and one does list our wonderful assassin," Stark said with a grin, handing her the tablet so she could look at them. "I'm guessing it's the one you're on."

She stared at it then nodded. "It is. We need copies of this I suppose."

"Probably for legal reasons," Pepper agreed. She glanced at it then at her. "Do we know the father?"

"I once knew him very well," she admitted, handing the tablet back. She looked at the little radio-like device on the table that had an unfortunate teddy bear on it. "That's for...."

"It's the baby monitor. I couldn't find one without cutesy things," Pepper said. "It'll give everyone enough room to carry it down four floors or up to the landing deck." Natasha nodded, looking it over. She turned it up. The baby was snoring. Natasha was trying not to smile at that. Pepper smiled at Bruce. "Something was weird about his diaper earlier so I left it in the work area inside a loosely sealed plastic bag so there was no ammonia build up." He stared at her, chewing his current bite of sandwich. "It had black, tarry stuff and he hadn't pooped. He started to when I was changing and that looked normal."

"That is weird. I can look." He finished his sandwich on his way down there. He came up an hour later, watching them listen to the baby have happy puppy dreams - he was even barking and growling a tiny bit. "It's got fish proteins." Natasha gave him an odd look. "Would they have tampered?"

"It's possible," she admitted. "Do we need more bloodwork?"

"His bloodwork didn't show anything like this." He put down the reports he had printed off. "Nothing unusual. Nothing fish related. No weird items in his blood at all." She looked them over, frowning. He put down one more. "This is what was in the black, tarry urine."

She frowned. "What sort of fish is that?"

"Unknown. The computer couldn't match it but it was definitely fish related," Bruce said. Tony reached over to snatch it to look at. "Any ideas?"

"No, and SHIELD's database doesn't have anything on fish DNA being given," he said, handing it back. "If we run into it, we'll know. Any other weird things?"

"Not yet," Bruce admitted. "Though I can't be sure if he'll show any of his mother's gifts when he starts to walk, climb, and run."

"Run?" Stark asked.

"Yes, babies run," Clint said, grinning at him. "They run a lot once they learn. They get into *everything*."

Stark made a tiny whining noise, looking at Pepper. "I've already got the stuff ordered so we can babyproof the cabinets, Tony. Calm down."

"My robots."

"You can tell them to avoid the baby." She patted him on the hand. "They might like him though. It'd give them whole new people to chase and fuss at."

He stared at her. "My robots. They only get to fuss over me, Pepper."

"Then build him his own," Bruce quipped. "I'm sure we'd all like a baby changing one."

"Yes, we would," Natasha agreed. "I can't imagine how they'd be worse than earlier's wet ones."

Bruce looked at her. "You do not want to know. Think diarrhea, Natasha." She shuddered a tiny bit. "Babies get it all the time just because they can."

"His nanny is coming tomorrow," Pepper assured her. "We have six to interview. All over the age of consent, have passed prior background checks, they're bonded, and four of them have worked with agents in the past." She smiled. "The agency is recommended by the FBI and the NSA's people according to their site."

"That's promising," Natasha decided. "Only females?"

"The only males they have are all on duty. Three of them are military veterans."

"That could help with what we do all day," Clint agreed. He looked at her. "I'll help."

"Thank you." She got up to make another sandwich and brought it back to the table. "Did you find anything today, Stark?"

"Three things," he said, putting his tablet on the table and projecting the tab he switched to. One was now a picture of Nick Fury scowling at him. Stark got back into there. "He's healing." He pointed at where he was. "The baby daddy is in Paris right now but looks to be switching." He changed tabs and looked at Steve. "You needed that file?" He nodded slowly. "You're right, it's him." He got into the oldest mentions to show him the pictures. "From the notes where they assumed, he might not know you."

"He does not," Natasha said quietly. "He does not remember much from before he woke up when I was younger. They had him in stasis and have removed memories before." She read the file. "It's supposition but not fully correct. Or if it was at one point, they have changed it as of the last time I saw him." Steve let out a hard breath. She looked at him. "He knows nothing from before he was dethawed when I was younger. He helped my training." Steve reached over to give her shoulder a squeeze. "I do not know why or what happened to his arm."

"He fell off a train in a mountain pass," Steve said quietly.

Natasha nodded. "That is good to know and probably what happened to his arm." That file got reloaded from the other end and a video of Nick Fury showed up. "Director."

"What the fuck are you doing?" he demanded. "These are sealed for a reason."

"We need him found," she said simply.

"Why!"

"Because I do. I used to know him when I was Russian." She stared at him. "I will go off the grid to find him." She turned off the tablet and let Stark restart it. She looked at Clint.

"I love Paris," he said with a grin. "And tranquilizer darts."

"That will not work on him," she said. "Injure him non-fatally."

"I can do that," he assured her. "When do we go?"

"Later." She looked at Bruce.

"I can babysit," he assured her. "It'll keep me calm to read to him later."

"Thank you. It shouldn't take us too long." She got up. Clint followed her to suit up and head out.

Bruce looked at the others.

"I'll help. It'll keep me from worrying," Steve said. He cleared his throat. The baby had quit snoring and was cooing. "I think he's up."

Bruce got up to get him, change him again, grimacing at the black stuff he peed out, and then redressed him to bring him out. "Here we go, all cleaned up again." Steve handed him the bottle he had made, making the baby squeal again. "Hungry, Alex?" he asked with a grin. The baby sucked like a super vacuum. "I guess you are."

"I fed him four hours ago while we were putting the furniture into place," Pepper said. "He wasn't that hungry then. He casually sipped."

"Sometimes babies have feeding schedules," Stark said. "I'm betting they had him on one." Everyone nodded at that. Steve carefully took the baby to feed. He also got anointed by the pee missile because Bruce hadn't gotten the diaper tight enough. "Eww," Stark said. He was so glad that wasn't him.

"Sorry, Steve. I thought I got the diaper tight enough."

Steve shrugged. "Babies can't help that." Even though the baby was grinning and cooing at him afterward. The baby was a bit sadistic it seemed. They'd have to make him a good boy again. "Let's go clean us both up, kiddo." He took him to shower with him. No one needed the baby monitor to hear how loud he was squealing in joy at the shower. "It's good you like being clean. It's a good trait to keep when you're older and playing in the dirt," he said with a smile for the baby. By the time they were both dried off, redressed, and back out to the kitchen, there was a visitor. The baby scowled at her as soon as he spotted her. "Agent Hill," he said with a nod, sitting down to feed the baby the rest of his bottle. He grinned at the baby, getting one back. "Much nicer, huh? Only some tarry stuff, Bruce."

"That's good. Hopefully it's weeding out whatever that was." He took the kid to stare at then shrugged. "We can sip and read." He walked off with him and the bottle.

Stark grinned at Steve. "You're good with him."

"Thanks. He's a sweet kid."

"Where did we procure the child?" Agent Hill asked, sounding exhausted for some reason.

"No comment," Stark said, staring at her. "Because you're hiding shit from us again." He stared at her. She glared back. "You can tell Nicky the same thing. Have a great evening, Agent Hill." Stark got up and headed down to his lab.

"Sorry, until the parents want to say anything we shouldn't," Steve said more calmly and quietly. "That's their thing to tell, not ours. We're just babysitting for a bit."

"It's good it's not one of yours." She walked off, going back to the office to report that. The director would not be pleased at this babysitting habit.

***

Pepper smiled politely at the woman who had just barged into her office being followed by Nick Fury. "Yes, can I help you?"

"Where did Stark get the kid?" Fury demanded.

"That is a private matter, though Alex is not his. He's being an interested uncle at the moment." She stared at the other woman. "And you are?"

"I'm Miss Madeline Constairs. Director Fury was worried there was some danger with having a baby here."

Pepper smiled and pointed. "This is Alex's new nanny. We hired her earlier. She's got two black belts, a PhD in Education, which she earned while in the Navy, and she's got excellent references. Beyond that, I had no idea Director Fury was a member of the group that lived in this building."

The social worker stared at her for a moment. "He is a director of a government agency."

Pepper smiled. "A very secretive one that's keeping things from important people. Including the health of someone." She stared at him. Fury was glaring. "I don't believe we need either of your services today."

"What if someone attacks here?" Fury demanded.

"As opposed to your ship?" Pepper asked, smiling slightly. "I hear it's been hit twice now." Fury glared. She stared back. "The child is not a matter of your concern, just because Captain Rogers was babysitting last night. He can do things without your input as he's an adult." Bruce walked in smiling. "Dr. Banner." The social worker flinched. "And Alex," she cooed, taking him to cuddle. "There you are. I've missed you all day. Would you like to meet Wilhelmina? She's your nanny." She carefully handed her over.

"Good afternoon, Alex," she said quietly. The baby smiled at her. "You're a very handsome and smart young man. We'll encourage that with some playful reading later." She smiled back.

Bruce looked at her. "He has the most active kidneys ever but it's not looking like a problem. He goes through a diaper every hour or so." The nanny winced a tiny bit. "He's a good boy about it. The little bit of black, tarry stuff was apparently someone like the director trying to inject him with fish taint, which he's peeing out as well. We've tested it, it's safe, he's safe, he's just peeing a lot. His other health readings were in normal parameters."

"That's wonderful. Let me go look in his nursery then we can check things like the local parks." She smiled and stood up. "You've done a good job this morning."

"Pepper did the nursery."

"Tony left it to me because he knows I have taste." Pepper smiled. "I also bought him a lot of roaming clothes and one cute outfit for pictures. His parents will probably like remembering him being this cute and innocent when he's a teenager. Mine did."

Wilhelmina smiled and nodded. "Mine as well, plus they're great to show during date picking up times." She walked off. "Do you like music, Alex?" He squealed loudly. "That's a wonderful thing. It's very good for your development so you grow up very smart." She got onto the elevator and pushed the button. "There, no more being in the center of a power struggle." He cooed at her. She smiled back. "You're very bright. We'll teach you to do great things like how to run Mr. Stark ragged. I'm sure he'd like to play more often." She got off the elevator, smiling at the staring men. "Good afternoon, gentlemen. I'm Wilhelmina Bishop. The new nanny."

She waved off Steve standing. "I'm evacuating him from the pissing match in the office with the director of SHIELD. The nursery?" They pointed. She smiled. "Wonderful. Thank you." She walked him that way. He had a whole stack of boxes of diapers. "Someone planned ahead," she said with a grin. She checked everything and nodded. "She used an excellent baby list." She sat down in the rocking chair, reading to the baby, who was staring at her oddly. "You'll learn much with me. Don't worry so much, precious." She smoothed the forehead wrinkle out. Then she winked, going to demon face then clearing it up almost immediately. The baby relaxed and let her read him whatever she wanted as long as it wasn't about dolls or puppies with bows. He fussed at that story.

Out in the living room, Steve and Stark were sharing a look then shrugging. "Pepper picked for strong," Stark decided. "Let's go get into the pissing match. It's my building so I should get to pee the farthest." He went down there, staring at the odd woman. A social worker. How cheesy. "It's nice that you decided to use emergency services for your own aims," he said as he walked into the office. "Isn't that like calling 911 to get you coffee?" He stared at her. "We're babysitting because his parents are presently overseas."

"Who are his parents?"

"Have Fury hack those records for you. I'm sure they'll be amused."

"The baby is in danger from this...being," she said with a hand flick at Bruce.

Stark laughed, a full, hearty laugh. "Really? Bruce isn't the dangerous one here. Yeah, he's got anger management issues. So does Pepper and she can talk me into building a bomb big enough to take out a city. It wouldn't be my first after all." She blanched. "Not to mention that one of his parents is an agent, and therefore deadly. Hell, even Captain America can be deadly if you push him wrong. Why would a baby do that?" He sipped his coffee, staring her down. "I've seen your type before. You're a discredit to the very important job and I'll be having a talk with your supervisor over this little stunt, ma'am. I'd suggest you run back so you get there in time to pack your own shit."

"I will not have that baby here," she said firmly.

"Then get a court order," he quipped back. "Oh, that's right, you can't do that."

"There's no birth certificate. The baby's probably stolen."

"It's filed in an EU compliant country," Tony said dryly. "Where they mixed him in a dish." She blanched. Fury didn't look pleased. "Thankfully someone rescued him and brought him to his actual parent. The rest of us are just babysitting. He's kept Bruce calm for hours at a time by cooing at his bad haircut." Bruce shot a low powered scowl at him for that remark. "Hell, I've even had the baby in the lab. He loves my robots. I'm making one to change him so Wilhelmina has some easier times." He finished his coffee, staring at her.

"You have no reasonable cause or immediate need to remove the child from the building or his babysitter's care. For that matter, I'd like to see you get a warrant to try this again." He stared her down. "Our lawyers are two floors down. I'd suggest you visit them to pick up a card as you'll be hearing from them as well." He looked at the director. "As for you, do you feel better now that your ploy has not only failed but failed miserably?" Fury snorted. "I can throw you out of the building," he said pleasantly. "Dummy! Intruders!" The robot rushed in, throwing something to open the window behind the desk and pushing the director out it no matter how much he tried to get away. Dummy knew very well how to herd people, he had done it to him a lot over the years.

"I don't want to watch him become a sidewalk stain," Pepper said firmly. "Dummy, herd him to the elevator please." The robot changed tactics, hitting Fury with his robotic arm to make him go that way. That plus blasts of small electrical discharge worked on most humans. The men smiled at the social worker until she left.

"Pep?" Tony asked.

"I'll keep you from killing her," she said, picking up her phone to call their lawyer and then the governor. She'd already had enough of this power play. "Bruce, are you okay?"

He nodded. "Normal people should be scared if I'm changing color but I hope I'd never hurt the kid. I'm not usually like that."

"At least she made you sound like a predatory hunting cat," Tony said, clapping him on the arm with a grin. "There's a lot worse things she could've accused you of being, including a piranha."

"No, I don't tend to eat the things I smash." He looked at Pepper. "Let me know if I can help some more?"

"Of course." She smiled. "I'm sure it might be needed a tiny bit." They nodded and left. "Tony, take Wilhelmina to the park with the baby," she called after him.

"Going, Pepper." He came off the elevator on the living level. "Wilhelmina, we're doing Pepper's bidding by taking the kid to the park," he called, getting his next cup of coffee into a travel mug. She came out with him in a jacket and pants outfit, pushing him in a stroller. "I thought that would be handy." They walked out together.

"Press ploy," Bruce told Steve, who was looking worried. "Since Fury just showed up with a social worker to try to snatch the baby."

"I'd hurt him," he said bluntly. "The kid doesn't need more people who see him as an experiment." He got up to walk to the elevator. He walked into Pepper's office. "What can I do to help with Alex?"

She smiled. "You can go join them at the park if you want. Within a few minutes of someone spotting Tony they'll know he's babysitting." Steve grinned and went to do that. Pepper knew how to handle all the press stuff that was driving him nuts. He'd trust her to do this one too.

***

Six hours later, Clint Barton was in a SHIELD Europe meeting room waiting on someone. They had gotten him at the airport but not Natasha. One of the senior handlers in the region walked in reading his file. "You wanted me to come in this badly?" he asked, sounding slightly amused.

"The director wanted to talk to you about your child."

"Alex isn't mine."

"You're statistically the most likely to have an out of wedlock child."

"What, you think my time in the circus ate my morals?" he asked dryly, staring at him. "I'd reconsider that. All I am is a fond uncle. Alex is a great little kid so far. I'm going to enjoy teaching him to shoot my bow and all sorts of stuff." He seemed to relax, staring at the handler. He didn't like this guy and hadn't when he had been a snot nosed kid Coulson wanted to beat. "I'm pretty sure if the parent of the child had wanted him to have contact with Alex, they would've hit him up for baby shower presents."

"How did the baby get to the tower?"

"Someone rescued him and brought him to us. Apparently there were assholes with ideas and a science lab." The handler glared. "Beyond ours. Which is why Alex is never going to come here." He stood up. "Anything else?"

"The director has sent you an assignment."

"I'm on hiatus. Something about press attention makes it harder than hell to shoot people for SHIELD." He stared at him. "You have fun with that." He walked off, heading out to the airport. He had in his earpiece. Natasha had heard everything. She'd be able to handle this herself or she'd try again in a few weeks.

***

Natasha found her target, who was not pleased by the look he shot her when she came off the roof stairs. "We need to talk," she said casually. She didn't move closer to him, simply sat on the edge of the roof they were on. She was dressed more casually than usual, her leather jacket, jeans, and a nice shirt.

He stared at her for a moment, shifting so he could check around them easier. "Why do we need to talk?" he asked. "Are we sharing a target?"

She held up a folder. "One of our former handlers had ideas about us." She tossed it in front of him.

He casually bent over to pick it up but kept her in sight the whole move. He flipped it open and laughed. "That's a good ploy."

"He pees a great deal and he's peeing out some sort of fish taint they gave him," she said. "It's coming out like tar." She crossed her feet. "An assassin I thought I had killed left him on my bed." She pulled up video from the baby's room cameras, letting him see the feed. She smiled at the cooing. "That is the nanny, Wilhelmina. Pepper Potts found her for me." The nanny moved off, letting Alex go back to sleep.

He moved closer, staring at the video feed. "He's real?" he demanded. She nodded. "Why?"

"Because they decided we needed to pay them back," she said simply, staring at him. "I thought you should hear this from me instead of from someone we both know." She grimaced then cleared it up. "Thankfully no one expects me to suddenly be maternal. They understand I can't be the sort of mother he needs. They are all nicely babysitting uncles so far. Even though the son has peed on them repeatedly."

He took the phone to look at, grimacing. "What's his name?"

"They named him Alexian Mikhail. A copy of his birth certificate and the genetic work is in the folder," she said quietly. She took her phone back when it rang with a text message. A warning she had been spotted. She looked at him. "We're in Avengers tower. You are his father and it is your right to at least visit him when you wish." She tipped her head to the side, staring at him. "If you wish."

"I'll consider it." He grimaced. "I'm going to kill them."

"Possibly too late. Two are already dead and one's missing of the five-person team. If not, have fun." She stood up. "Make sure we don't have a daughter as well. Barton would turn her more girly on us."

He snorted. "Possibly. Thank you."

She smirked a tiny bit. "I would not have minded the standard way back then but now this is a bit odd. Be safe. Visit with some warning for me so I can send the others out." She strolled off.

The Winter Soldier disappeared over the fire escape, going to where his target was waiting on him to kill them. He had kept the folder. Someone was going to pay for doing this.

***

Natasha showed back up in time for a battle, so that was good. She had managed to avoid all the SHIELD people trying to bring her in to talk to her. They could be frustrated, it made them smarter agents. She was getting a few stitches in the Avengers infirmary when the director stomped in glaring at her. She stared back. "Yes?"

"Who's the father?"

"The Winter Soldier." He nearly flinched. "I've informed him of this and he's finding any others they may have made." On his bed up the row Clint winced. She looked at him. "It would not be unheard of for there to be twins so they could have both uses for the children." She looked at the director again. "It is none of your concern as I am not taking maternity leave. The baby has a suitable caregiver that I will support. As we know, women like me are not maternal." She stared at him. "The others are welcome to become uncles as they wish. So far they've done wonderfully with him."

"I don't like this," Fury said.

"Then go back in time and prevent them from creating him." She stood up, staring at him. "The child is born, I am not going to harm him for coming into being. Some day I may want to uncover some maternal impulses. I may not. I do know that he is safe and if you come near my son again you will not be as safe." She walked around him. "Have a good day, Director."

Clint hid his grin. Natasha was in a holy bitch mood and it was always a pretty sight to behold as long as you weren't on the other end of it. The director glared at him. "Not like he's mine. I'd claim him, I like the little guy, but I'm only a spoiling uncle sort. I'm going to teach him weapons with his mom." Fury glared harder before stomping off. Clint waved at his back with an evil smirk. "We really need to tell some people so he's protected," he decided, finishing the cleaning up so he could go upstairs and talk to her. She was in the nursery, staring at the baby, who was patting one of her cuts. "We need more protective, silent uncles and aunts."

"Making him more public knowledge would mean others would want him to train or to get back at us," she said quietly. "That I will not have."

He nodded. "What about someone like Criste?"

She looked at him. "He would steal the baby as his own. You know he still has that fantasy of taming me."

"I know. We can make him protective of the baby. Because some day he may want to follow you or his father into the job, or into the spandex."

She let out a tiny smile. "I doubt I'll want him in SHIELD."

"Me either but there's other groups."

"Perhaps. I'd rather he be a regular man."

"Stark's going to help teach him science, Nat, and you're a genius yourself. We've got to expect he's going to be at least really smart." She nodded, smiling more at the baby. "But they might try to get him back."

"His father is working on that."

"Our people might want him," he said quietly.

She looked at him. "True. I was hoping to hide him better."

"Short of sending him into protective hiding, I doubt that'll happen." He moved closer, tickling the baby's belly to make him laugh again. He looked at her. "We need plans and you do that best."

"I have been." He nodded. "If I need help, I know you will."

"Of course. Always." He touched her shoulder. "All you have to do is ask." He picked up the baby. "Let's change you, little guy. You're obviously wet again. You pee more than a whole group of SEALs in a pool." She laughed but helped him change the baby. He never tried to pee on her when she changed him but he liked to pee on Clint a lot. "Aww, does that mean you'll like boys?"

"If so, I will not be upset," she said. "Perhaps they will be sane." She put him back down, letting him gnaw on her hand until he fell asleep. Then she gently pulled away and went to her rooms. He went to his own. Clint was right, they had to make plans. Fury would only see the baby as a future asset.

***

Stark woke up a few mornings later, stumbling on his way to the kitchen for caffeine, but paused to look at the nanny, who was deeply asleep, and the baby, who was cooing at the screensaver on the tv. He smiled and took a picture. "Why are you up?" he asked quietly, which made the nanny flinch awake. "He wouldn't sleep?"

"Not for more than a few minutes. I'm not sure why but he calmed down at the screensaver instead of cartoons." She looked at the baby then down his back. "I'm amazed, I don't have to change you yet. It's been four hours, kiddo." She stood up. "Let me get him a bath."

"You can both watch tv if you want," Stark said. "It's not a problem."

She smiled. "He doesn't like tv. He likes colors. Eye burning colors." Stark smiled, heading for coffee. She took the baby to his bedroom, then came back out. "Mr. Stark, there's a device on his crib."

He ran in there to look, getting Natasha up with the help of his AI. She stomped in looking displeased. He finished getting it disarmed and let her take it. He held up the gas canister. "Let me see what this is."

"If you find fingerprints, let me know," she said quietly. "I wish to have a talk with someone."

"Gladly. I think you'd have help." He walked off with the device and the canister. "Search the rest of the room for her. They were watching tv because he wouldn't sleep."

Natasha raised an eyebrow then nodded once. "Interesting to note." She searched the rest of the room, killing two mice. She knew they weren't native mice, there weren't any in the tower. Their remains got bagged up to check them for various diseases. The bathroom was mostly clear but the shower had an extra part on the shower head. If you didn't know what it looked like, the little tube from the pipe to the shower head wouldn't have looked out of place. Since she did, she grabbed some tools and carefully removed it with Clint's help since he was now up and pissed off. He did another search of the room after her while she brought that canister down to the lab. "On the shower head."

He took it to look at then scraped a sample out to test. "Probably dissolves in water," he decided. "The mice?"

"Dead. I know they're not native."

"No, we don't have lab rat mice in here and those aren't New York rats." They shared a look. She walked off to see who had bought the mice. That social worker was not very subtle as she found out. Especially when she showed up with a 'report' that there were vermin in the tower. Natasha kindly asked the officers for a different social worker, holding up the video of that one buying mice, and a picture from the security tape showing her releasing them into the tower from the maintenance shaft. Which ran right up the outside next to the baby's room. Stark came down to sneer at her.

The officers called in for advice from their higher ups, who sent another social worker. By then, Steve had heard, come back from his run, and was livid. The officers backed off because you didn't get in Captain America's face about stupid things, or important things, or anything really. The social worker wasn't that wise and her ranting fits were nicely recorded. Stark told her that when she was done. Her indignation was blown aside and the new social worker got to hear that. She nicely took the officers with her to check the baby, the baby's room, and the living areas.

She found no problems and came down to ask politely about why the shower head was disabled. So Stark told her. She nodded and took the former social worker with her back to the office to make a formal complaint, including that they had evidence of her providing those mice to the building. The head of the department wasn't happy because she had to get off the phone while talking to the governor as they walked into her office. Someone was in trouble. A lot of trouble. Couldn't happen to a nicer woman since she had made up evidence.

***

Six days later, Natasha was having a slight book shopping trip, staring at the young children's book section. She hated all of them. They were... they had no substance beyond some rhyming or easy stories. "How do parents read those constantly?" she mumbled, frowning slightly. She decided Alex needed more classical stories. Fairy tales weren't ideal but were easy to find. They would do for now. Her phone rang and she looked at it as she headed for the register. There was a line. That was not going to be okay today. She looked around.

One of the cashiers stared back then waved her forward. A few grumbled until they noticed who she was. "Thank you," she said quietly. He rang her up quickly and let her leave within a minute. She went to SHIELD instead of to the tower. Clint would have a backpack. He could hold the books for now. Or Stark perhaps if he was there. Then she decided to make the cab driver deliver them and tossed him extra money. "The books go to Avengers tower."

He nodded quickly so she got out. Clint wasn't in sight but she expected that. Stark was flying in so she put in her earpiece. "Stark, what happened?" she demanded as she walked. The gate guards tried to get in her way but they were easily knocked out. She listened to the report. "That will not happen. Make sure they do not leave with him." She listened, Hawkeye gave a report on where the baby was right that moment. He was being loaded into a quin jet that was aimed toward England. He said he couldn't stop it without hurting the baby. It was on the other side of the landing field.

She made a call. "They are taking our son to England," she said simply. Then she hung up and went to see if she could find the idiots. "Hawkeye, that lab is annoying me." Stark promised he was getting everything they had. Clint was sabotaging the quin jet for her. It took off but not without him having put a remote control device on it. She gassed another agent who came running at her and beat two more. "I'm not pleased," she told an agent backing away from her. "The Director will know why. You can quote me." She went in to destroy everyone who had harmed her son. That lab was hers once Stark was done saving things down. Clint came down to get her phone and called the last called number to tell them where the jet was going. The male on the other end promised to make sure he was fine and bring him home.

When they were done with the lab, they walked out together. Steve was waiting on them. "Captain?" Clint said.

"He okay?"

"On his way to England. I'm debating how much of that country I'm going to destroy," Natasha said.

Clint grinned. "Got your back there too, Nat."

"Good. We will have fun." She looked at Steve again.

"I'm not against that. They kidnaped a child. They deserve to be tortured for that. No matter who did it," he said, looking over her shoulder at Hill and Fury stomping out.

Natasha looked back and shot them both in the leg. "I will finish with you later, once my son is home. How good of shape he is in will decide my levels of mercy." She shot the other agents trying to surround them. "No, I do not believe this will work."

"The Avengers don't work for SHIELD," Steve announced. "Not with them kidnaping a child."

Clint shook his head. "I have a great amount of money in my retirement fund," he quipped. "I'm sure I can live comfortably on it for ages."

Stark landed and sent out little devices that knocked everyone around them down and mostly out. "I have a great investment guy," he assured them. "I'm sure he could make you great interest too, Barton." He looked at them. "The baby?"

"Being retrieved," Natasha said simply. "Though I will be destroying that lab as soon as he is home." She walked off. The men followed. Natasha called something and put in a code. "The things you find lying around the office on new code day," she said dryly. Then she set off the self destruct for the armory. "Pity they tried my son."

Steve grinned. "You're a good mom, Natasha. Even though you're not maternal or the model mom I'm used to, you've done a great job with him so far." She smiled slightly but tipped her head in thanks. Behind them, agents were rushing to handle the damage that had been done. It did not do to hurt those she protected. Some day someone would learn that. Hopefully soon.

***

Clint looked over as someone came in off the fire escape. "She's in her room. Let me call her," he said, calling down to Natasha's suite. "He's here." He took the baby, who squealed at him. "Hey, Alex. You're okay?" he asked the guy standing there.

"A few shot marks. I let a doc there start some checking bloodwork," he admitted. "He called and said he's fine, they were probably taking blood instead of adding things." She came off the elevator. "He's okay."

"Thank you," she said quietly. He nodded once. She sat down to take the baby from Clint, getting a squeal as well. "It's good you're happy, son. Did your father have problems with you?"

"No," he admitted. "He was very quiet and stared at me, but he seemed to laugh a few times. I have no idea why." He shook his head quickly. She looked at him. "I'm not used to babies."

She smiled. "Neither am I." Wilhelmina came up from the infirmary. She had a few stitched cuts on her face and an egg on her temple. "Wilhelmina, this is his father. This is the nanny," she told the father.

He nodded at her. "He's loud."

"Happy babies are loud. They learn stealth when they're a toddler. Then if they're quiet, they're getting into trouble." She smiled, looking at the baby, who stared at her. "Are you all right? Should I call Dr. Banner?"

"I had someone check, he's fine," the father said. The elevator was moving so he fled.

"Come back when you want," Natasha called after him. "Thank you." He saluted her with a smirk before disappearing down the fire escape. She looked at the baby. "You will grow up less hurt than he is," she said in Russian. "And a bit more normal than either of us."

Clint pinched her on the arm then took the baby back. "We'll make sure you grow up to have fun things and serious things, but you know the difference."

"So he does not make jokes while being a sniper?" Natasha asked with a tiny smirk. Stark came off the elevator with Steve.

"Exactly. Drove Coulson nuts for years." He looked at the baby again. "You probably need changed."

"I do not know," Natasha said. "He didn't feel squishy."

Wilhelmina took the baby to check down his diaper. "Nope, not wet or dirty. Good job, Alex. You managed a few hours without getting messy." He cooed at her, grinning at her cuddling. "Your mother got you some books. We'll read. Unless you want to, Natasha?"

She shook her head. "I'm tense. He would not relax with me reading to him. I did get books that were more substantial than the stupid seeming children's books."

"That's fine. There's a time for both." She smiled, letting Steve and Stark take him to coo over him. Bruce came up from the infirmary to check him over. The baby loved Bruce. He peed for him and squealed repeatedly while Bruce was holding him.

"I like you too, Alex," he promised with a smile. "Natasha, next time, ask me to come beat things up for you too please."

"I shall."

"Thanks." He looked at him. "You need changed."

"They do that," Wilhelmina quipped, taking the baby back to do that for him and settling in to read to him in the living room. It relaxed everyone to have him safely cooing at the books.

***

Stark came off the elevator when his AI had announced agents stomping in. "What are you doing here?" he asked, staying pleasant.

"We have a warrant to arrest a few of you, Mr. Stark. There was apparently an attack on an agency," the agent in the lead said.

Stark stared at him. "First, you can't prove I was there." He stared at him. "Secondly, I doubt that agency is going to press charges because all their dirty laundry is going to come out *very* quickly. Including that they had kidnaped a child to experiment on and that's why they went in to rescue them."

"Doesn't matter," he said.

"It does to others." He stared at him. "That warrant's not valid and I can assure you it's not valid." He typed into his tablet, calling someone. "I need a face-to-face." He held up the tablet. "They think they want to arrest people for getting their child back."

"Hell no," the woman on the screen said. "Give me a minute, Mr. Stark." A minute later the US President was on the line.

"What the hell?" he demanded. The agents all saluted. "At ease, gentlemen, and explain yourselves. I've already told Fury I would've destroyed more than they did for that bullshit." The agents all flinched at the swearing. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Sir, we have a valid warrant," the agent in the lead said, holding it up.

The President shook his head. "No you don't, son. Nick Fury is not going to do this. It's an escalating war that we as a country won't win. Do you really want to see what happens when you arrest Captain America for helping a woman get her kidnaped child back?"

"It was against the law, sir, and there was an attack."

"So? If it was my kid, or your kid, the attack would've been much worse," the president assured him. "I'm really pleased no one died. Just a lot of injuries. The assassins who went in are really good apparently." He stared at him. "There's no warrant. No matter who says what, there's no warrant. The investigation was closed the minute they found out why. The panel said so. The higher ups over SHIELD said so and mocked him for being so stupid. Even Agent Hill nearly got canned and killed for doing that, Agent Stymers. There's no investigation, no warrant, and will be no arrests. Am I clear?"

"Perfectly, sir, but we are worried about the precedent."

"If someone takes your kids to experiment on, we'd go rescue them too," Stark said bluntly. "No matter who had them. I doubt that little six-month-old baby needs to be exposed to anything like a super soldier formula." He pulled up a picture of the baby playing with Bruce's hair beside the tab with the President on it. "The other paranoid group will probably try something but yay them," he said dryly.

"He's cute," the President said. "How old?"

"Six months," Tony said. "Just starting to babble and thinking about crawling. Still peeing out the fish taint stuff someone in Russia tried to inject him with." He looked at the agents. "You guys have a better day. We know you're doing your jobs and we respect that, and that you came in so quietly, but I'll be damned if any kid's going to be a lab rat."

"I'd hope they never do too," the President said. "If you find more, warn me first, Stark." He hung up.

Tony put his tablet down. "Have a better day, guys. It sucks to be in the middle." They left. Tony went back upstairs. He arrived in time to be nearly knocked over by an escaping, naked, peeing little guy. "Wow, you're mobile and still peeing. That's talented, Alex." He called up a cleaning robot. It came up with the new diaper changing one he had created. It scooped the baby up and took him down to his room to change. The cleaning bots got to work on the rugs and floors. Tony went to get some coffee and go down to the lab. JARVIS would tell him if the diaper changing bot was having problems with the baby. Or Wilhelmina would scream about it, something like that.

Bruce walked in with a donut a few minutes later. "Wilhelmina got knocked down and banged her head so I was scanning her. How did he get naked?"

"Don't know," Tony said, pulling up the security footage and rolling it back. "He was partially that way. She was probably going to change him." They watched her stumble and trip into the sidetable then the baby rolled off the couch. He didn't fuss, just figured out how to move once his nanny had been taken down to the infirmary by Clint. The diaper came loose as he moved past the coffee table, scrapping it off that way and then he crawled out of it. "Yup, he'll be a genius," Tony decided, sending that footage to Natasha's phone. Bruce was shaking his head but finishing his snack. "The nanny okay?"

"She's fine. Still has a minor concussion from the last one. They're doing sedate things for the next day or so." He went to his own lab, nicely created and fixed for him by Tony. It was a good place to hide from peeing babies. Tony pulled up the footage of how the diaper changing robot had worked. It had nicely hosed down the baby's butt for him, which had thrilled him, he had squealed really loudly, and then wiped him down and put on the new diaper. So apparently it worked well.

***

Natasha watched the diaper changing robot that night, frowning a tiny bit. "Why is it giving him an enema?" she asked out loud.

Wilhelmina sighed as she walked up behind her. "I don't think it's that in-depth, but he really likes being sprayed with water there." She walked in and the robot handed the naked baby over. "It's time for a real bath, Alex." He fussed. "Tough, you need a real bath, not just a bath for your balls, young man." She took him into his bathroom. The diaper changing robot followed to help by rinsing off any soap when she was done scrubbing. It was a handy, warped thing Tony Stark had created.

Natasha was shaking her head as she walked so she ran into Clint's chest. "My son may be gay."

He nodded. "With the way the robot makes him so happy when his balls get washed that way? Possibly. Send his dad film of it?" he suggested with a grin.

She shook her head. "He will probably complain." Clint downloaded it onto her phone and sent it for her. "He'll want to thump you for that."

"So?" He grinned. "I can get away from him. I have in the past." He walked off happier. His 'nephew' was absolutely an adorable little shit who was a tiny bit weird. He adored the kid. Even with his current low speed crawling after the diaper changing robot because it had his blanket. He looked so serious. Clint filmed it for both parents, sending it to them both on his way to his room.

***

Somewhere in Greece, a phone rang and the man it belonged to looked at it, frowning at the video that came in. "They're making him gay. Sure." Another video came in and that one was cuter but still... His son had potential. He already knew that robots were weird and sometimes mean. He shook his head and got back to his drinking so he could rest.

Poor Natasha.

***

Alex was staring at everyone over breakfast a few days later, then he'd grin when they stared back. They were amused at this baby ESP game. "Mamamamama?" he asked Clint.

Clint leaned over to hug him. "Sure, you can call me mom for now, little guy. I don't mind." The baby slobbered on him and patted him hard. "We like you too, Alex. Want some mangoes?" He handed over a few of his slices.

The baby gummed on one until it dissolved, making him happy. "Mamamamama?" he asked Steve, who smiled and let him have a piece of his fried egg. That made him happy too.

"Is this like teaching him to beg?" Bruce asked. Tony nodded. So did Natasha. "Okay, just making sure. Stark, do not feed the baby honey. He's too young until he's at least a year old. Honey can have biological contaminants," he said at Clint's odd look. "It can make him sick."

"Sure, I get that," he agreed. Stark handed over a piece of his toast that only had bananas smooshed on it. The baby squealed happily at that and sucked on it until it was soft enough to swallow. He choked a bit but Steve patted him on the back so it was okay. He looked at his mom, who handed over some of her pastry without him having to ask. He beamed at her and sucked on it.

"I take it he's old enough for solid food?" Steve asked, surrendering more of his eggs. Everyone nodded. "Don't they start out with cereal?"

"You'd have to expect Nat's kid would be exceptional," Clint quipped. Natasha swatted him on the arm. The baby did the same with a grin. "Good job. You can hit like Mommy does, Alex. That's a really good start at being a tough guy."

Wilhelmina into the kitchen. "You should have woken me, I would've fed him."

"He's been begging like a puppy," Steve said with a smile for her.

She sighed, looking at the messy baby. "I can tell. Okay, let me make you some oatmeal, Alex. You like oatmeal." He made mouth-farty noises and cackled, digging into his treats. She looked at him. "Politeness, young man. No spitting at me or I won't let that diaper changing robot have you later. I'll make you go to the park instead." The baby stared at her, eyes wide. She smiled. "Oatmeal." She held up the box. He pouted but let her feed him.

"Bruce, what are you working on today?" Tony asked.

"The same thing as usual. You?"

"New arc reactor core." He looked at the others. "Beyond working out, are you guys doing anything?" They shook their heads. "Have fun playing then, guys." He got up with his coffee and went to his lab after a pause to flirt with Pepper.

Bruce shook his head. "Have fun, you three." He went down to his lab, smiling. The baby was adorably messy and he was *so* glad he didn't have to clean him up.

"We can go to the park later," Natasha promised.

"Pending another attack or a disaster," Clint quipped. He finished his cup of coffee and got himself more, adding some more tea to Natasha's mug for her. She nodded her head in thanks. By the time they had all bundled up and headed out to the park it was nearly lunchtime but the baby didn't mind. It gave him more people to stare at. They settled near a shady bench and let the baby crawl on the grass after making sure there wasn't anything like broken glass or needles hiding in it. Clint spotted the trouble first, nudging Steve. Steve looked and shook his head with a sigh. Natasha looked over and looked at the nanny, who just smiled and pulled Alex closer to check his diaper. "Gentlemen," Clint greeted when the two agents stopped by them. "Problems?"

"Many of us don't like the precedent that set, no matter which higher ups have stopped things," one said.

"We retired the same day thanks to them kidnaping the baby," Clint said, staring at him. "If he was mine, I'd have destroyed more of them."

The secondary agent stared at the baby then at Natasha, who stared back. "He is?"

"Someone overseas decided I needed to be more maternal. They made it so. I'm not about to let others experiment now that he's safe. If you have problems with me getting my child back, I'm sorry. I do not care, but I'm sorry for you."

Alex scowled. "Baba!" he shouted. "Bababababa!" He crawled over to one of the agents and swatted him. "Baba!" He glared up at him. "Babababa!"

The agent looked down at him. "I'm not being bad. I'm making a point, little guy. Relax. I'd never hurt you."

"Unlike our former director, that's nice to hear," Clint said dryly. "C'mere, little guy." Alex swatted the guy again. "Quit beating the agent. He's right, we were really mean so they didn't try it again." He stared at him. "Because next time, I'll start the destruction and I nearly brought it down before." They shuddered. "You don't touch a kid. They're not lab rats. But we understand that it makes some agents uncomfortable."

"Thank you," he said. "I hope he's a healthy, happy baby and kid." They walked off.

Clint pulled Alex over to look at him. "Next time the city's invaded, we'll let them handle it." The baby stared at him. "We can."

"We can't," Steve sighed. He took the baby, kissing him on the cheek, making him grin. "You're very protective of Wilhelmina. We like that about you." The baby kicked and squealed a tiny bit. "Let her change you." He handed him over. They could all hear him peeing in his diaper. Pretty soon it would overflow. Wilhelmina took him a ways off to change him so his pee could do a good thing for the tree. That made him a happy boy. When he was done she cleaned him up and got him into a clean diaper. The old one got thrown out while the parent and uncles watched him for a minute.

Natasha looked at her happy son. "It's good you like to pee, son. You do much of it and it's good for you." She patted him on the head, letting him grab her hand to gum on. "Are you teething? I read about that."

"Yes, he is," Wilhelmina quipped as she sat back down. "Aren't you glad you're not breastfeeding him?"

"They do that at this age?" Natasha asked.

She nodded. "They should get milk for the first year. Though some mothers don't know when to quit and are still nursing their kids in preschool and older. One admitted she was still nursing her six-year-old."

Clint shook his head. "I can't imagine any kid but Stark's liking breasts at that age." Steve burst out laughing, shaking his head. "Most boys think girls are icky at that age, Cap."

"I did too," he agreed, smiling at the baby. "I wonder if he'll go through a mud stage."

"I haven't met a child who didn't," Wilhelmina said, staring at the gumming baby. She pulled out a rattle, giving it to him so his mother could have her hand back. "Gum on that, Alex." He did and it made noise too. He liked that thing and tried to beat his mom with it.

"Chew on it, not beat me with it," she ordered patiently. He crawled off to beat Steve with it, but he didn't seem to mind. Steve only cuddled the baby. Natasha looked at Wilhelmina. "Should we pick up baby food?"

"I make his. We have a food processor and vegetables."

"Does he like vegetables?" Steve asked.

"If you teach him to like them, yes." She smiled. "He'll never get fast food until he's at least 3 if I have my way."

"Too late, he was gumming on Tony's Pad Thai last night," Clint said.

"That's at least close to real food and nothing like a chicken nugget." The baby was back to babbling at the tree because it was moving in the breeze.

Steve suddenly stood up. "Let's go." They packed up and left together, Steve carrying the baby.

Natasha glanced back subtly and nodded. Agent Hill. Charming. She took the rattle when the baby dropped it, making him fuss. "You can have it once we clean it off at home, son. We're out of diapers for you and you'll need one soon." The baby still fussed but they made it back to the tower a few blocks away easily enough. She did clean off the rattle and give it back to him. Wilhelmina changed it for a teething ring that was silent. He pouted but he liked to gum on it. She and the baby went to the safe room Stark had designated for them. It had a link to the security cameras.

Natasha was on the couch while Clint was in the kitchen when Agent Hill came off the elevator. "We need to talk," Agent Hill said.

Natasha looked at her. "I believe I said all I need to say when I retrieved my son." She stared at her. "I have been talked into mercy but nothing beyond that."

Steve stared at her from his seat. "I don't think that anything except an apology is going keep us all from being mad," he said calmly.

"The director thought the child would be in danger here."

"So he sent him to a lab?" Natasha said dryly, staring at her. "I believe that was the end of my mercy." Hill stepped back. "Go. Away. Before I rival Dr. Banner's anger issues. I may not be maternal but I will never allow a child to be raised as I was." She stood up. "I believe you should relate that to him while he finishes healing before I lose my considerable temper." She stared the other agent down. "Have a good day, Agent Hill." She walked into the kitchen.

Clint leaned out with a grin. "By the way, we heard about our handler. We'd like him back as soon as possible. We *might* be willing to work with him again since we can't and won't trust you, Agent Hill. Too many attempted skeletons. Including a tiny one." He gave her a pointed look then went back to fixing sandwiches. "Hey, Steve, want eggs or ham?"

"Either's fine, Clint. Thank you," he said. He looked at her. "If you think any of us would allow you or the director to harm that baby, you're nuts. Though I hear they have medication for that these days, I don't think it's a topic that should come up in polite company." He got up and went into the kitchen. Agent Hill left. He looked at them. "If you two need to take off to protect him, we'll cover," he said quietly. "I'll hurt anyone who hurts that little guy. He grows on you."

"He does," Clint agreed, grinning at him. "If we have to run and hide from SHIELD, there's ways around that."

Stark came up reading on his tablet. He handed it to Natasha. "Finally tracked him. He's there in medical care."

She read it then looked at him. "Thank you."

"I knew Fury was a mind fucking bastard back before he sent you to treat me like a little kid, Romanoff. Him doing this to Coulson, who isn't much nicer but still a better human being, sucks just as large to me as him doing it to your kid." He grinned a tiny bit. "I hate mind fucking unless I'm the one doing it."

"If you turn telepathic, we're putting you out of Pepper's misery," Clint said dryly.

"She'd probably appreciate that." He walked off to go back to the lab.

She shared it with Clint, who nodded at the transfer orders. They were moving Coulson because someone was tracking them. They could fix that issue.

***

Natasha walked into the infirmary with the baby once they got back from the new rescue. "This is Uncle Phil, Alex," she said quietly, sitting beside the bed. "He has a booboo but he'll get better soon." Alex stared up at her and grinned. She smiled back. He looked at the guy on the bed. His nanny had been in that bed a few times because she had head booboos. He wiggled. "No, you cannot crawl on him yet. Wait until he's better." The baby started to sniffle so she sighed and let him sit on Phil's side. He crawled up to hug Phil on the head. "His booboo's here," she said with a point. "But that's a very nice hug, Alex."

The man on the bed blinked hard then focused on her then on the thing attached to his head. "Who are you?" he asked quietly. "And are you dead too?"

"You are not and he'll only be dead once he's dating unsuitable people as a teenager," she said dryly. "This is Alex. Someone in Russia kindly made myself and the Winter Soldier a son." Phil was blinking hard so she moved the baby. "There, hug him better, Alex." She smiled when he did that and slobbered on him.

Phil drifted back off but he looked confused. It was nice to see.

Clint came in and perched himself on the foot of the bed, patting his lap. Alex crawled over to cuddle him. "Good little guy. We'll make Phil feel better together." He let Alex stare at the man on the bed, telling him about his new uncle. He'd like Phil a lot. Phil had patience, even with them. He'd have plenty to help them make the baby a sane little guy when he got older.

***

Coulson woke up again, blinking hard at the man sitting beside his bed tapping at a game on his tablet. "Stark?"

He looked up. "We rescued you. Of course, we thought you were dead for over a month. Want some water? I'm on bedside detail while Banner's getting something to eat."

"Please." Tony let him drink out of a bottle of water he grabbed from the fridge. "Thank you."

"Welcome. Someone's got to counteract the insanity we'll be teaching the little kid." He grinned. "Have you met Alex yet?"

"I think I saw him earlier. He was curled up around my head."

"He's really good at giving slobbery hugs. Oh, fair warning, he pees a lot more than normal." He stood up when he heard someone. "Hey, Steve."

"Hey." He nodded and Tony left. Steve smiled at him. "Welcome back."

"Was I dead?"

"We have no idea. The files are now missing, even from where Stark or Natasha can search. We thought you were. Fury told us you were."

Phil nodded once. He was starting to drift off again. "It was probably tactical."

"Probably." He leaned on the bed. "You've got at least a few more weeks in that bed but we'll try to keep you from being bored."

"How did the baby come into being?"

"Russians."

"Wonderful," he sighed. "Is he safe?"

"We made a mess getting him back. They may have decided it's a bad idea." Phil was blinking hard again. "Hey, now I can say I watched you sleep," he teased with a grin.

Phil smiled weakly. "It's a relaxing pastime at times." Steve laughed and sat down. "I'm good."

"So? You're still going to be guarded until we're sure there's not going to be anyone being all huffy and cranky to get you back. Clint volunteered but then Alex threw up on him. It was really gross." Phil nodded, drifting back off again. Steve took the bottle of water to recap and put on the coaster beside the bed. Bruce came in a while later. "He had some water, we talked a bit."

"That's good news." He came over to check him over. "He looks like he'll be fine but I've got a call in to a friend of mine about his injury. We'll make sure he'll be fine, Steve." Steve nodded. "Go play with the baby."

"He's puking on Clint again. I'm trying to avoid that fate."

"Babies puke like cats puke, all the time for no reason." Steve grinned. "Go get Stark out of the lab to eat. He could use a good meal." Steve nodded, going to do that. Bruce sat down to eat and look over the current health issues everyone had. The baby's included. He was a cute kid and very sweet, but really strange too.

***

"Booooooooo!" Alex squealed, crawling after him in the living room on the way to the elevators.

Bruce stopped to look at him. "Did you just call for me?" The baby beamed and patted his leg so he picked him up. "I like you too, Alex."

"Boo boo." He hugged him, grinning at him.

Bruce smiled back. "C'mon, you can help me in the lab. I'm not playing with chemicals." He took him down there to look at things. The baby chattered and cooed at everything.

Phil Coulson was aware enough to wake up and stare at the babbling little boy. "You are very loud, Alex. Some day I'll have to teach you stealth. I had to teach your Uncle Clint so I'm sure you'll be easier."

Bruce laughed. "A toddler with stealth is a scary thing, Agent Coulson. We were told if they got too quiet it was a sign they were being bad." He looked at the baby. "You won't do that, will you?" The baby grinned at him because he was smiling. "That's a good boy. Here, meet Uncle Phil." He handed him over to him.

Phil smiled weakly at the baby. "Hi, Alex." The baby grinned and patted his hand. "You're something I thought I'd never see."

"He's got a nanny but she's got a health check today to make sure she's healed from the concussion."

"Concussion?"

"Your director decided he wanted a lab experiment," he said, pointing at the baby. "I was really pissed off that they didn't invite me to help get him back."

Phil nodded. "Did they leave anything standing?"

"Unfortunately."

"They were merciful." He looked at the baby again, letting the baby pat him. "Not there please, Alex. That's a sore spot."

"Alex, that's his booboo, don't pet it," Bruce said. "Like Wilhelmina's face." Alex looked at him then frowned at the spot. He tried to pat it but Phil covered it with his hand first. Alex huffed but cuddled him. Phil smiled, patting him on the back. "He's usually a very good boy, Agent Coulson. Though he does love to pee a lot." He sighed as he picked the baby up and took him to change. Coulson had gotten a new sheet by the time he got back. "He's playing with his diaper changing robot. He loves it because it squirts water on him."

"Kids do seem to like water. Clint ran through."

"He's probably hiding from Stark. Apparently there was a color dye incident in his lab last night." He smiled. Natasha strolled in with the baby. "He done with the robot already?"

"I made the robot go sit in the corner for trying to strip him down when he didn't need changed. My son is much too fond of the water squirting on his hind end." She sat down beside the bed, letting Alex sit in her lap. "No, sit with me, son." Alex pouted at her. "Uncle Phil's in too much pain to hold you right now."

"He seems sweet, Natasha."

"He tries very hard. Especially when he's just peed on you," she said, looking at her son. "Thank you for not taking that as a hint, son." Alex just grinned at her. She sighed. "Robot!" It zoomed in so she handed him over. "Change him down here." It had diapers and everything it'd need on board. "He crapped again." The robot moved to a free table and got to work cleaning up the giggling boy. She looked at Phil, who was smiling at the happy baby noises thanks to being sprayed. "We're not sure if he'll like girlfriends or not when he's older," she admitted, even though she was smiling.

"You never know," Phil agreed. He looked at her. "Are you all right? Is Clint all right? He won't tell me."

"He's better. He's still handling the mind control aftermath." Phil nodded once. "We all survived the battle for New York." Her son let out an awesome squeal. She looked over. "What are you doing?" she demanded, standing up.

"I think Stark built a suction hose in case he starts to pee while being changed," Bruce said, staring at it. "Pepper needs to fix his mind again."

She nodded. "Yes, she does. Robot, go show Pepper how nicely you cleaned him." The robot took the still squealing baby with him, leaving a trail of water from his squirt tube behind. Cleaning robots showed up to clean up the water mess the first had left. She sat down, looking at Phil. "We're at Stark's tower."

"That explains the cleaning bots." He nodded once then shook his head slowly. "Am I going to get better?"

"The cardiac surgeon I had come in to look you over said you're getting better," Bruce said. "He also said he didn't know what they had done for you but whoever had done fantastic work. You'll have some physical therapy to regain strength but that's about normal. He'll be here tomorrow and we'll wake you up for it, Agent Coulson."

"Call me Phil, Doctor Banner."

"Bruce." He smiled. "Once he okays it, I'll have you moved up to the main infirmary. We've now got two docs and three nurses up there that're human."

Clint leaned in. "Stark said it was really mean of you to take his robot's fun away and Pepper's about swatted him into being a good boy again. Can you make her less mean?"

"The robot has a suction tube for when he pees during diaper changes," Natasha said.

"So Stark had a penis pump he attached to the robot?" Clint guessed. She nodded. "Huh. Who knew he needed the help. Must be all the happies he's gotten in his life, it wore it out." He strolled off again with a grin since Bruce was laughing.

"Prank war?" Phil guessed.

"Not yet," she said. "Probably soon since neither of us are gainfully employed any longer."

"I'd have quit too," Phil agreed. "When are we expecting them to stomp in here and scowl?"

"They will not be welcome. The AI knows not to let them in. The security team as well. As my son was heading for a lab in England when we got to him, we were not pleased."

"I'm happy you left people living," he said quietly.

"I had a acute case of mercy that day. I left it to his father to find the ones who had made Alex to make sure we don't also have a sister." She smirked a tiny bit. "He was not amused."

"I wouldn't have been amused either," Phil admitted. He smiled at her. "He's adorable." He pointed. Alex was crawling back into the lab. He was fully dressed and clearly rediapered. Natasha picked him up and the baby babbled at her, smiling and happy again. "It's good he's happy."

"He usually is. He's also active and loud most of the time." She had to let the wiggly one down. He pouted at the bed then at her. "I'm not putting you on him. You're too active for him right now. He can hold you when he's in the regular infirmary."

"I can keep him from hurting me and he'll wail if you don't," Phil told her. He was already sniffling in pity. The last thing he or Bruce needed was a wailing child. She shrugged and put the baby on the foot of the bed. Alex crawled up him to sit on his stomach and stare at him. "Hi, Alex." The baby grinned at him. Phil patted him on the leg. The baby flopped over with a giggle and cuddled him. Phil shifted him some but the baby didn't seem to mind. He even fell asleep on him. "Maybe I'm infected with magic."

"Or he wore himself out," Clint said, coming in with a small bowl of baby food. He handed it to Natasha before hopping up onto the foot of the bed. "He'll wake up in about ten minutes. He never sleeps very long. Usually he'll wake up after a few growls and purrs."

"He ...growls and purrs?"

"In his sleep." Clint smiled at the baby, who was now purring and kneading. "See?"

Phil watched. The baby was purring and kneading his side then he growled and woke up suddenly. "Nightmares?"

"Not sure," Natasha said. "Sit on your Uncle Clint and I'll feed you," she said, holding up the spoon. Clint patted his lap. The baby crawled over to hug him, yawning on the way. Natasha fed him until he fell asleep. "I love that power of his." Clint grinned. Wilhelmina walked in scowling. "Did you hear about the robot?"

"Yes," she snorted. She rolled her eyes. "He's a man so therefore he thinks his dick is the most important part of his life. They all do."

"Hey," Clint complained, staring at her.

She stared at him. "I'm sure you think with yours too now and then, Clint." She took the baby and the empty baby food bowl. "I've got him now. I passed and I left Miss Potts with the clearance letter." She walked off with the baby.

"The nanny," Natasha said.

"She seems pleasant," Phil agreed.

"PhD, former Navy," Clint said. "He adores her."

"That's always a positive thing," he agreed. He yawned. They smiled and let him drift off again. When he woke up it was to a fussy sounding little kid beside the bed. He looked down at him. "What's wrong, Alex?"

"Bobo," he said, staring at him. "No."

"I still have booboos. I can't bend over to pick you up."

Wilhelmina walked in and picked the baby up to put him onto the bed. She stared at him then nodded once. She glowed and he blacked out but when he woke up, he still had the baby on his stomach, he was cuddling and napping on him, and his chest hurt a lot less. Interesting. He looked down. "Are you okay?" The baby snored. "That is adorable, Alex," he said quietly, smoothing down his hair. It had some static cling.

Steve walked in, shaking his head and taking the baby carefully so he wouldn't wake him. "We've seen her do it before but we have no idea why. She's not evil and the baby seems to adore her. All we know is that she's not harmful." He looked at the baby then at the man on the bed. "Need anything?"

"I'm actually okay. He's a very sweet baby."

"Just wait until he starts to walk, Agent Coulson." He smiled before walking out. Alex fussed and almost woke up when he got near the nursery so he put him onto the couch and let him nap next to him while he read. They'd figure out why he didn't want to go down later. It seemed like the baby had some sort of empathic gift. When he woke up he flopped off the couch. "Hey, Alex, where are you going?" he asked quietly. The baby ignored him and crawled off, almost humming. He paused in the hallway that led to all their rooms then crawled on, going to Clint's door. Which the AI opened for him. JARVIS loved the baby and let him have his way more often than he let Tony Stark have his. Alex crawled into Clint's room, waking him up, but the baby just smiled at him and managed to almost climb in with him. He huffed and pouted at the big person uncle.

Clint picked him up to look at. "Why did you wake me up?" he asked.

"He was napping on the couch beside me, woke up, and came right for you," Steve said from the doorway. "He wouldn't go into his room. I'll go check it while you two talk or whatever?"

"Sure, Cap. Thanks." He waited until he was gone to stare at the baby. "You have to be a bit less obvious, kiddo. People will hear and make you miserable if you have a real psychic gift." The baby grinned at him, gumming on his thumb. "What?" The baby leaned down to cuddle onto his chest, huffing a happy noise. "Fine, you can nap with me but no peeing on the bed. Okay? I don't have any clean sheets right now and we'll both end up on the couch." The baby cooed at that. "What?" The baby stared at him. "I don't have mental gifts like you do." The baby wiggled until he rolled off the bed. Clint caught him before he could fall onto the floor. "Sure, we'll go nap in the living room with Uncle Steve." He walked out with him, checking his diaper as a matter of habit. "Anything?" he asked him.

"Not that I can tell. JARVIS, is something wrong with the baby's room?" he asked.

"Or mine?"

"I'm not certain what he's sensing," the AI said quietly. "Most parameters seem normal but the ones that are slightly elevated shouldn't matter. The heat's a bit high. The humidity sensor is reading higher than normal this time of year. I'm not sensing any devices or gases out of the ordinary."

"Okay, so he just wanted to cuddle," Clint decided. They curled up on the couch and Clint turned on the music channel on mute, which let the 'screensaver' picture show up. The baby liked that and snuggled against his side to nap. "Sure," Clint said. Steve shrugged and picked up his book to read. "I've got him if you want to go to bed."

"I don't sleep that much," he admitted. "I've already had my five tonight." Clint nodded. "Nap, Clint. I'm sure he'll be happy again tomorrow."

"Probably. It's a good thing most of the time." Steve smiled. The baby was snoring so that was fine.

In Clint's bedroom a form was fading in. It was not happy that no one was in there. The baby she wanted to talk to wasn't in there. It was supposed to be in there, it had just been in there. She couldn't do more than go home and wait a few more days to try again.

Out in the living room, the tv suddenly interrupted the screensaver to note the being fading into and out of view in Clint's bedroom.

"Save her picture and search her down please, JARVIS," Steve said. He looked at Clint, who shrugged. He didn't know her. "Maybe a relation of Natasha?"

"They died when she was four, Cap."

Natasha came out to stare at the frozen picture. "I have no idea who she is." The guys both nodded. The baby was still snoring so that was good. "Why are we out here?"

"The baby woke me," Clint said, looking up at her. "He wouldn't sleep in his bed for Steve. He woke me up and insisted I come out here to sit with him."

"Interesting. We'll try to get that straightened out before someone hears." She walked off to do the searching herself. She also sent an email to Europe to see if the paternal donor had the files from the lab that had made Alex yet. There was no record of that woman in any system that SHIELD could get into, or she could hack. That raised some very odd questions. Now if only her son was old enough to talk to.

***

Natasha came out for lunch, looking at the cooing baby. He was cooing at Pepper, who had his food. "Stark, did you get any files about him?"

"Not a single thing. The lab that made him, according to what they think at SHIELD's labs, burned down last year." He looked at her. "Why? I've seen video of that ghostly thing showing up."

"That's just one odd thing," she said. She sat down, glancing at the baby then at him. "How did he end up with whatever form of gift he has?"

Stark nodded. "That's a good question. Bruce, you know more about DNA."

"They could've possibly tinkered to create it, but I'm not sure. Or if it'll stay." He looked at the baby then at her. "It's possible it'll ease as he gets older and starts to gain other coping methods."

Natasha nodded but Clint shook his head. "I've seen a few in the circus, mostly that got their 'feelings' after puberty but a few did get it before then. Usually it was in the same bloodline." Natasha shook her head. "What about your grandparents, Nat?" he asked.

"That is a point I had not considered," she admitted. "It's possible or from the father's."

"We think those sort of things are more involved on the father's side but no one's totally certain," Bruce said. "We can't find a gene that says 'you will know things'. Comics beside the point."

Wilhelmina walked in with a laundry basket full of baby clothes. "Miss Potts, I would've done that instead of grabbing his laundry."

"You're letting me postpone a meeting with an old girlfriend I usually want to chew on for her questionable decision making skills," she said with a smile for her. "So, this seeing gift. What do you know about it?"

"By the way, saw the face thing," Clint said, staring at her.

She shrugged. "I'm actually a protection demon." Everyone stared at her. She smiled. "We're related to vengeance demons by having the same boss."

"Does him being who he is have some reason for you to be here?" Natasha asked.

"Yes and no. Yes, I'd be here if it was any baby, because until he's old enough to be able to reasonably hide himself, he's going to need it thanks to what you guys do. A normal person could do it. I'll definitely make sure he at least makes it to six. Which is when someone with a crackhead prophecy will want to sacrifice him." Natasha glared a tiny bit. She shrugged. "He fits two." She walked off and came back with a book from her room, letting Natasha have it. "That's the one when he's six. My job is to make sure he makes it past that with only normal kid injuries if possible."

She read it and passed it on with a sigh. "Cult of Darmon?"

"Yup."

"We destroyed most of them back in the war," Steve said.

Wilhelmina shook her head. "You got *some*. You got the main temple. They had a lot of hidden people. They've since bought the old temple to add to their other one in England, where most of them were hiding." She looked at the two scientists. "They're trying to do with magic what you can do with science." Alex squealed and beamed at her. She patted him on the head. "As for why him? He's...special. Because of someone like that cult, he came into being instead of being from another agent's eggs." Natasha huffed.

"They wanted him specifically and summoned this soul specifically. Mostly because they knew *this* soul could handle it if they got to raise him and didn't sacrifice him. That one knew they needed a new warrior program and *this* soul would be able to restart it. He gave them two others who could be useful for the sacrifice, both girls, both generic, both in Germany at the moment. Another of us is watching over them to try to stop the sacrifice but we can't be that close because they're in the hands of other idiots with plans. They got confiscated when the lab got shut down and adopted out to high ranking officials," Wilhelmina said with a smile. "They know about the sacrifice prophecies but don't believe and are a bit paranoid anyway."

Steve looked at her. "So you're only here to guard him?"

"Yup. I broke a bit of protocol to grant that one single wish but I also got warned if I did it again D'Hoffryn would have my horns for his nutsack scratcher." Stark snorted, shaking his head. The baby was cooing and patting her arm. She grinned at him. "I know, Alex." He giggled and patted her again. She went to full demon face. They all grimaced so she banished it. "Too many wishes, guys. I can only do it when he wants me to and only to wishes. So don't get that injured, okay?" They all nodded. "Thanks." She looked at the baby. "As for why he has foresight? He had it before."

"You knew who he was," Stark said. That made this much more interesting.

"He wasn't from here and yeah, I do." She smiled. "It's supposedly going to fade. The guy was the fount of all things chaos screwing up plans like that but supposedly D'Hoffryn made sure when he realized it because everyone went apeshit on that side."

"Would that relate to the redhead who came to visit him?" Clint asked. Stark pulled up the picture.

"Yup, sure does, and she's not supposed to do that. It'll mean that his old memories won't fade and we'll be stuck with the White Knight of Chaos." She walked off. "Let me call the boss. In this case, Rosenburg is the harbinger of apocalypse time and it's not even spring." She found her phone and called. "Boss, Rosenburg showed up here to check on Alex." She hung up on the screaming that started. "Oooh, I'd hate to be the slayer that he finds first." She walked back to the kitchen.

"Slayer?" Pepper asked. "Like that show...." She looked at the baby. "That's Xander."

"Yup." Wilhelmina grinned. "They pulled him specifically. Yeah, the foresight might stay, no idea. Before he only saw battles or apocalypse attempts. He was guarding a lot of the slayers when a demon specifically hired for it assassinated him. He killed the demon who did it but he died of the injury and protected the three young slayers who were also under attack at the time."

"The bad girl thing he said?" Natasha asked.

"Every. Single. One," Wilhelmina said with a smirk for the baby. "If they were dangerous, they loved Xander. Now he's Alex though so maybe that'll ease. I'm not sure *why* but I have no idea if we can fix it. I'm trying." She shrugged. Her boss showed up. Everyone stared at his odd color and his extensive horns. "Hey, D'Hoffryn. Did you get through to her?"

"No. She's like that though. I did warn the Watcher and the head Slayer. Hopefully they'll rein her in before I have to have her sent to a new life and reborn in the Flintstones." He looked at the boy then at the mother. "The drawing of dangerous ones? It'll stay. So will the foresight. Also watch for him to be in the absolutely wrong place at the right time and have an idea how to fix it. He was...amusing when he did it before. Some demons made millions betting on what he'd do. Including screwing up one of my vengeance demons that had been efficient, deadly, and nasty for over a millennia. He gave her a conscience after a year and a bit of dating." He grimaced. "Good luck with his desire to help when it's not his job and his tripping because he'll do it without training."

"Though he was almost always where he needed to be to help solve things," Wilhelmina quipped. "Not everyone would face down beings of immense power and strength when they don't know what the hell they're doing."

D'Hoffryn rubbed his forehead around the horns. "Don't remind me." He looked at the baby then at her. "No more wish-based work until you're off this assignment. I've checked on the other two and they're safe-ish. Perhaps. I can't see that far. Ask him when he can talk." He disappeared.

Wilhelmina smiled a tiny bit at the baby. "You still drive him nuts." The baby cooed and waved. She gave him a hug around the head. "We were always amused, dear. Don't do it to me though, Alex. I'll be mean and make you eat brussel sprouts." The baby laughed and rocked a bit. Pepper caught him before he knocked the tray off and fell. "Don't do that. Eat for your aunt then we'll go buy you more diapers. Okay?" The baby stared at her. "And maybe something for you to suck off like a candy bar." The baby squealed and dove back to his aunt who had the spoon. "Very hyper," she mouthed to Natasha. Then she smiled. "Fortunately he can't walk yet." She strolled off. "Let me get him clean clothes."

Stark looked at Natasha. Who was shaking her head. "Let's look at the cult to stop them first."

"They seem to be a lot of science people," Steve said, handing the book to him.

Stark looked it over. "I know some of them. Half of them are idiots though. Magic can't imitate science."

"Bull," Wilhelmina said as she came back with a damp cloth and some clean clothes. "We can." She grinned. "We really can. They can't, because they're more limited. We're not allowed to teach them how to do those things so they have to figure it all out themselves. And no, I'm not a good test of that. My magic isn't all that strong. It's all wish based."

"That's good to know," Steve said. "Does he have magic?"

Wilhelmina looked at the baby then at him. "If so, we'll all die in a flaming fart of the universe." Stark was laughing. "Seriously. It doesn't go right around him. He tends to draw magic users, especially chaos ones, but as far as I know he can't. He had a whole guard unit of young chaos mages who considered him a holy icon," she said at Bruce's laughing. "They were really good. If they had been there when he had been attacked, he wouldn't have had a problem beyond putting out the fires they'd cause. They stopped a lot of demons who wanted to own him or kill him for helping the slayers. I'm looking at the ones here to see what they're doing. Most of them are too old but two of Janus' are younger and there's one of Loki's true practioners that might like him too much."

"We hate Loki," Clint said.

She smiled. "I don't much like him either. His practioners and holy servants aren't him and some of them are okay. One's a healer. He's kind of nice. Not really pleasant but kind of nice. Another's a thief and he's very good at it. People keep wondering how he broke into somewhere and they can't figure out he's using magic." Natasha spat a name. Wilhelmina grinned. "Him, and his father, and later on his son. Who will be about a year younger than Alex so they might end up friends. They're drawn to Alex like flies to fair food. They'll find him in the park, in the stores, in the ER once. Unfortunately not the one that was a healer but he called him in to come meet him. They were very happy to help the Knight of Chaos." She pointed at the baby's head. He was cooing at Pepper and the spoon of veggies.

"Any locally?" Pepper asked.

"Two. They've both been very amused by Alex in the park. They're both older and have grandchildren who might introduce themselves. It's nothing that they plan, it just seems to happen. He's a chaos magnet. Weird things are drawn to Alex. They'll probably always been drawn to Alex."

"So if Loki comes back...." Clint said dryly.

"He'll probably be wanting to cuddle the baby and coo at him but he won't know why. Unless he *knows*, which we wouldn't put past him." She grinned. "But he might upset Thor horribly because his brother probably had that same probability thing going when he was little."

"We'll ask when he shows up," Steve said. He patted the baby on the back, getting his attention. "Is he going to be okay?"

"Yeah. He'll be the laugh you need at the wrong moment, but you'll need it," Wilhelmina said. "He was in his last life, and he'll probably be the same this life. Consider it like reincarnation but some of the last one stuck through all the filters." She shrugged. "Finish up, Alex. We'll go taunt the hellhound at the grocery store." The baby squealed and wiggled until Pepper handed him over. "Let's clean you up. I know you want to be drooled on and the puppy's really nice to you. His human isn't sure why but he's a funny seeing eye dog anyway. Huh?" She walked him off.

Steve rubbed his forehead, shaking his head. "We can manage that, right?"

Stark nodded. "Chaos is a well known factor of science," he said, looking at Bruce.

"I love the little guy. He's adorable and he's comforting." He looked at Natasha. Who was shaking her head.

Clint patted her on the shoulder. "We knew if you ever had a kid it'd be exceptional in some way or another." She scowled at him. He grinned back. "It came from his dad, right?"

"Definitely," Steve said. "Can we save him?"

"If we can capture him and undo whatever mind screwing they did to him," Stark said.

"I'm not sure how easy that would be," she said. "I can work on the first part of that goal however." She looked at Steve. "He was sent to kill you more than once."

"I'll deal with it," he said. She nodded, making plans to capture the baby daddy as Clint called him.

***

Alex crawled into the infirmary. "Boo!" he called. "Boooooooo!"

"He's in the labs, Alex," Coulson called from his bed. The baby grinned at him before crawling over. He got up to grab the baby and laid back down. "What are you doing out of bed?" He looked at him. "Why are you only in a diaper?" The baby beamed and patted his booboo. "Yes, I know, it's my booboo." The baby tried to cuddle it but Coulson shifted him. "Cuddle me there. It'll make me feel better." The baby pulled up a thumb, staring up at him. "What?" He sighed at the continued staring. "Would you like a story?" The boy grinned around his thumb. "Okay, I can do that. Let's see...." He came up with a suitably tame one.

"Your Uncle Clint was once my agent. I took him all around the world to handle things." The baby cooed and patted his chest again. "We were in Belgrade once. It was really cold and he had to sit outside to watch someone for me. He was out there so long he was almost too cold to move. So I brought him coffee and let him warm up for a few minutes while I watched them for him. Of course, the bad guy came during that so he had to hurry up, handling it for me, and then we went to the hotel to hide really fast and leave. He was still shivering even though we went to the beach in Greece really fast. It took him *three* days to get fully warm and he still says he gets cold from thinking about that."

"I do," Clint said from his spot leaning in the doorway. "He got away from Mom, who was giving him a bath. She's finally got the water right and is waiting on him. Want a bath, Alex?" The baby cooed and patted Phil's chest, cuddling on the booboo. "He's special to us too. He can come up to talk to us while you have a bath. He can even read you the bedtime story." He picked the baby up. "I'm so proud you haven't peed on him yet. You got the rest of us within a few hours." He helped Coulson up. "C'mon. There's a nice chair up there." He made sure he made it to the elevator and up to Natasha's suite. She took the baby with a head shake. "He went down for a story."

"He does like stories." Clint got Coulson a chair to sit on. Alex kept checking on him while he splashed his way through his bath. They felt the building shake. Clint and Natasha shared a look. "Sometimes I worry that we're doing his bidding," she said dryly, staring at her son. Who peed in the water. She got him out to dry off and diaper. He wasn't done and as soon as he was out of the water, he erupted again so she let him pee into the water. It'd save a diaper.

"He does pee more than you'd think babies could hold," Coulson said. "Hurry up, Alex, so I can read to you." The baby cooed and pooped too.

"At least we can transition from the tub to the potty thanks to the water," Clint said, going to get her some cleaning supplies.

Natasha looked at her very strange son. "Done?" she asked. He squealed. The diaper changing robot came in. "He's already done and I have it, thank you." The robot seemed to slump and stand in the corner.

"For some reason I feel like a Queen song," Clint muttered as he came back. He took the baby to put on his diaper. They helped Coulson to the nursery so he could read the bedtime story since the baby demanded.

Stark strolled in and stared at the sleepy baby. "Thank you. Let us know and we'll save him anyway. Your mommy missed him." He walked off. "The two SHIELD agents who put some sort of landing pod into the infirmary are in deep. They startled Bruce awake. He's not happy. He's about to throw them like a touchdown ball spike." He went back to calming Bruce down while Steve dealt with the agents.

"Boo?" Alex asked.

"You can see him tomorrow, Alex," Natasha said patiently. "When he's calm." Coulson read a second story, which made the baby forget about Bruce. That was sweet and he fell asleep during it. They put him down and helped Coulson back down to the infirmary so he could handle things. The agents stared at them, one shaking his head fast. "Who sent you?" she said dryly.

"The Director. He said you stole someone from custody."

"We stole him from their infirmary of hell," Stark said dryly. "Not exactly the same thing."

"We're only following orders!" the other one shouted.

"Sure, you're following orders to piss Dr. Banner off," Clint said as he walked in. He smirked at them. "I doubt that'll work. Want that on your exit paperwork?" They shook their heads. "Then clean up your mess. Before my nephew sees it and wants to play with you two."

"Will the baby really do that much harm?" Steve asked. Both agents shuddered. "Never mind. I never poke people about their phobias. It's a good way to get my own acted on." He walked off. The elevator took him down to the bottom level when he had pushed for the living level. "Sure, JARVIS." He stepped off, staring at the two agents trying to get the elevator to show up. "SHIELD agents decided to crash their landing pod into the infirmary level. Would you like them?"

"Yes, sir," the agent in the lead said, staring at him.

Tony came off the next elevator with Clint, walking the agents. "We'll be destroying their little breach pod thing. I can make better things with it." They got onto the elevator. "Steve?" He got on too, nodding at the agents. They left it there. Clint went to check on the baby and Coulson, who was now in an apartment of his own. Stark went to his lab to rant at his robots for a bit. Bruce was calming down and Natasha was subtly begging the baby daddy to show up before she went insane. Even Wilhelmina was cackling in her room.

***

The Winter Soldier checked the new email message from his phone, snorting at the 'would you like some babysitting time' request from Natasha. "Not likely." She sent a picture from what looked like an infirmary. He recognized the uniforms - SHIELD. "Isn't that what they use to breach submarines?" he muttered, staring at it. The message with the picture made him groan. "Our son was down there a few minutes before this to try to protect his newest uncle, who was in the bed on the right in the picture. He is very noble and a bit strange."

He sent back a question about how their son knew that. She sent her file of occurrences as she called it. Then she sent a file that was a video of the nanny telling them why their son was a bit weird. He was going to growl soon. "Hell no," he muttered. "There's no way that group's going to get the kid. Even if I'm not father material." He rewatched that second video, grimacing. He had new targets, that was very nice of them. His son really needed to be safer. So maybe he'd go after the guy behind all the attacks that was making his son put himself into danger without others realizing it: Nick Fury. He finished off his current job of breaking in somewhere to get scientific information then left the area. England wasn't that far away and was a good layover point.

***

Alex found someone strange in the lab when he was looking for Uncle Bruce to check on him. They had been attacked by some bad guy that wanted his mommy to be a bad girl too. "Boo?" he called. The Hulk jumped and stared at him, groaning. "Boo!" He stared at him. The green person was wearing the same pants. "Boo?" He crawled closer. The Hulk backed away. "Boo! Boo!" The Hulk roared.

Steve rushed into the lab in time to see Alex figure out how to crawl up a ramp made of a fallen ceiling tile and then jump on the big green guy. "Oh, no," he said, grabbing the baby from Bruce's neck. "Let go, Alex. Uncle Bruce needs to calm down without you!" The Hulk was trying to shake the baby off, making him cackle in pleasure. "No, Hulk, let me take him."

"Boooooooooo!" he shouted through his squeal. "Boo!" Then the green guy started to change. "Boo!" He pounded on him. That guy had eaten his Uncle Bruce! No wonder he was looking like him. "Boobooobooo! Booobooobooo!" He was still trying to thump him.

Steve finally got the baby free and walked him off. "Uncle Bruce is just fine, Alex. Really, he is. He just needs a time out to calm down. You can't help him with that." Natasha looked up. "He was helping the Other Guy calm down." He held him out.

She took her son to look at, who was still chanting for Bruce and nearly crying. "Your uncle is fine, Alex," she said calmly, staring at him. "Stop it please." The baby started to cry.

Clint walked past to grab him and looked at him. "Quit." The baby sniffled and called for Bruce again. "You can see Bruce in a few minutes. Once he's not green. If he's green it's not a good thing. He needs to calm down. The same as you need to calm down." He turned on the security video. "See, he's nearly back to Uncle Bruce." The baby reached for the guy on the tv. "You can see him in a few minutes." Natasha took him back, letting him watch his uncle.

"Boo!" he shouted, reaching for the tv. "Boooooooooooo!" She put him onto the couch because he was wiggling so much. He rolled off it and crawled off again.

"JARVIS, do not let him down to the lab," Clint warned. The AI wouldn't open the elevator door no matter how much Alex cried and screamed as he pounded on the door. The diaper changing robot came up but not even that would stop the wailing in misery. Bruce came off the elevator, mostly back to normal. Alex pounced him, staring at him, patting his cheeks.

"You cannot be around the Green Guy," Bruce said. "He could hurt you and I'd hate that. No being around the Green Guy." Alex sniffled and hugged him as hard as he could. Bruce sighed, sitting down on the couch with him. "You guys tried."

Natasha nodded. "I'm not sure he didn't think you were hurt," she said quietly.

"I think he thought I ate me," Bruce said. "He was better until I started to change back so he couldn't get hurt."

Coulson walked out slowly, taking the baby to look at him. "We'll talk about it, but please quit fussing. Bruce needs quiet Alex, not crying Alex. It makes him sad." Alex sniffled, staring at him. He handed him back and the baby did calm down by napping on Bruce's shoulder. Coulson sat down. "We'll talk to him about shape changers. Where is Wilhelmina?"

"Probably still locked in the safe room," Clint said, going to check on her. "Yup, knocked out," he said as he came back. "The explosion knocked something onto her head and she's just now coming around." More people came off the elevator with guns drawn. The main window was already blown in but someone swung in on a rope and fired on those people before more than Natasha had. Clint was pulling back to shoot. Bruce was moving to protect the baby. Steve was diving for his shield and gun. The guy that swung in got most of them.

Natasha looked at him. "Thank you."

"Welcome." He held up a disc with a tiny smirk. "That cult's gone."

"Excellent." She took the disk. "Bruce, is Alex awake?"

"He's a limpet," he said, prying him off to hand him to his mother. This new guy was clearly dangerous and a bit weird with the dark makeup rings around his eyes.

"Alex, this is your father."

"Dada," Clint supplied.

The baby stared at him. "Dada?" He nodded, patting him on the head. Alex wiggled until he could pat him back. "Coo coo?"

Clint paused then laughed. "He does look a bit like a racoon we saw at the zoo, yeah," he agreed. Natasha and Bruce both scowled. "He wanted to go to the zoo! It's not my fault the hyena got out and gave him a cub bath! I was trying to get the others off him!"

Stark came off the elevator, pausing. "Okay. Sure." He nodded. "Are you the source of all the chaos he draws?"

"No," the Winter Soldier said. "I was never that bad as far as I know."

"Only now and then around girls," Steve said. The man stiffened. "Hi, James."

"I'm not.... James?"

"James. That used to be your name." He moved closer. "Did they leave you any memories?"

"No," he admitted. "All I know is that people want you dead." He was clearly fighting against that urge.

"He's good at reading to the baby," Natasha said, hitting him with a sedative dart. He glared at her as he slowly sank to the floor. Alex was scowling at his mother and patting him. "He'll be fine. We're going to make his memories come back, son. That way he's nicer, we hope." She took the baby back. Steve and Stark took him down to the infirmary to start the long process of unbrainwashing him. Coulson followed.

Alex tried to follow, calling for his dad. "Hey, babble patrol? Not right now," Clint said, picking him up to look at. "You can see your dad later." He walked him off. "Let's change you. Okay?" He grinned. The baby grinned back and babbled at him. "Sure, you can call me that. I don't mind."

Natasha looked at Bruce, who shrugged. "I tried to get away from him."

"He's a bit stubborn," she said, siting back on the broken couch. "I have no idea which side he gets it from."

"Both of you. You're both stubborn if you've survived this long." He rubbed over his face with his hands. "The zoo thing?"

"He was acting up and wanting outside by the way he was pounding on the windows to scare the pigeons. Clint nicely took him to the zoo." She shifted to curl up some. "They did the primate cage. Clint had him in the pram." Bruce nodded, they all liked the stroller Pepper had chosen. It had a nice zippered screen over it. "He hadn't used the hood because he needed the shade. They can't be deployed at the same time." That got another nod. "They came out of the primate area into the African section. The elephants got a bit loud and apparently he was laughing at them. They moved on and Clint started to hear a noise like people screaming." Bruce sighed.

"He looked around but didn't rush in because he had Alex. He turns to find people rushing his way; the hyenas had gotten out. He wisely starts to take Alex but turns and finds another hyena behind him. He backed up and against one of the designer trees, none of them able to be climbed. Alex, my weird, precious, demented son, wiggles enough to make himself fall." Bruce winced. "Clint catches him but one of the hyenas bats at him and manages to grab Alex. The new mother of the group settles in around the baby to give his hair a bath while the others guard him, even from Clint while she tries to get him to nurse." Bruce stared at her. "No one has any idea why. They didn't even mind his diaper being messy.

"The zoo employees?"

"Tried to scream at Clint but he pointed out they had stolen the baby to cuddle. Then one of the wolves came trotting over. There was some growling until the baby fussed. Then the wolf sat down with the hyena to clean my son's face off." Bruce stared, mouth slightly open. "We do not know why. We have a copy of the film. Clint helped by sedating everyone, including Alex, so they could save him from having furry nannies."

"Why?" Bruce asked.

"No idea," Stark said as he came off the elevator with Steve. "Clint's not banned from the zoo but the baby is." He looked at the couch and the mess. "Let me get the cleaning bots and order a new couch set." He walked to find a phone while the tower's AI got the cleaning robots up to clean up the glass.

"Will it help him?" Natasha asked.

"Yup," Clint quipped as he joined them from the residence hallway. "He's having a nap. He wore himself out."

Natasha smiled. "Thank you."

"Welcome." He sat down on the other side of Bruce. "I have never been that scared in my life, but the kid just thought it was the coolest thing ever."

"Maybe he's got some gifts towards animals," Bruce said. Stark shook his head. "We checked?"

"We borrowed a dog from a friend Pepper has. It didn't react like the wolf or the hyena. He thought the kid was a bit weird and didn't want to play with him at all." He finished ordering a new couch and hung up. "JARVIS, order us dinner please," he ordered, walking off to get a drink. "If anyone else attacks, I'm killing everyone in the city but us. That way I get to calm down too." He got onto the elevator and went to calm down in his lab.

Natasha and Clint shared a look. They got out of the way of the cleaning robots while Bruce went down to help with the deprogramming. They could listen for the baby and Wilhelmina to wake up while helping with the clean up. Steve was sitting beside his former best friend to help him however he could.

***
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